Caitlyn Jenner posted the first ad in her campaign to topple Governor Gavin Newsom, a wispy, nearly three-minute production that positions her as a “compassionate disruptor” meant to topple the “elitists” who stole the former glory of the California.
It is an exercise in contrasts: beaches, palm trees, folkloric parades and the Golden Gate Bridge against homeless camps, cities blackened by fire, businesses closed by the pandemic. And the transgender political hope shares the screen with images of herself from earlier in life, as Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner.
“I came here with a dream 48 years ago, to be the greatest athlete in the world,” she said. “Now I’m in another kind of race, arguably the most important to date: to save California.”
Eight days ago, Secretary of State Shirley Weber announced that supporters of a Republican-led campaign to impeach Gov. Gavin Newsom had collected enough signatures to force a special recall election.
Jenner did not wait for this official notice. On April 23, the 71-year-old announced her landmark campaign on Twitter.
“Tackling entrenched Sacramento politicians and the vested interests that fund them requires a fighter who isn’t afraid to do what’s right,” she wrote at the time. “I am a proven winner and the only outsider who can end Gavin Newsom’s disastrous period as governor.”
His new ad builds on this apocalyptic vision of a dream gone awry in a state that was once the envy of the world.
“The American dream grew up here, but career politicians and their policies destroyed that dream,” she says. “It was locked up, closed, closed, left in the dark, burnt.”
Drawing on the populist sentiments that drove former President Trump to victory in 2016, she accused the government of stealing “our money, our jobs and our freedom.”
The reality TV star is positioning himself against other Republican contenders, including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman John Cox and former Rep. Doug Ose.
“California needs a disruptor, a compassionate disruptor,” she said, her long brown hair blowing in the breeze, golden hills in the background behind her. “I want to carry the torch….”
The ad first aired Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America”.